Texas Mother Says She Was Attacked for Wearing a Hijab At Starbucks
|thenorthstar||Jun 23, 2019|
A Muslim mother claims she was harassed at a Starbucks in Dallas in front of her children for wearing a hijab. Nur Ashour, a popular food blogger, wrote in a Twitter thread on June 16 that a woman threw things at her and said “horrific things” to her at a coffee shop in Dallas while she was with her young children, who are eight months and three-years-old.“Today I got harassed by a woman for wearing a hijab. The sad part was it was @Starbucksand not a single employee or bystander said a word to her,” Ashour wrote. “She threw things in my face and said horrific things. Had the roles been reversed, I guarantee the reactions would have differed.”Ashour said she was at the chain coffee shop when the woman bumped into her from behind. The mother said she apologized to the woman, but the woman grabbed coffee sleeves and threw them at her, yelling that she “better be sorry.” She wrote that the woman who harassed her told her that she needed to leave the coffee shop and followed Ashour out of Starbucks.
The mother wrote that, after she exited the Starbucks, she yelled for help and a security guard approached her. The woman who harassed her then told the security guard that Ashour had thrown stuff at her.While the incident inside the coffee shop ensued, Ashour wrote that she only received an apology from the man that she was standing next to in line. She said that Starbucks employees did not approach her or try to diffuse the situation.
“I had my 8-month-old daughter with me and my three-year-old nearby. I was so shook up I had to leave immediately because I feared for the safety of my family. Had I not approached a security officer outside, not a single person at @Starbucks thought to even check on me,” Ashour wrote.The North Star has reached out to Ashour but did not hear back in time for publication. In her Twitter thread, she expressed her frustration at having to explain the incident to her three-year-old daughter.
“It’s really sad that I have to explain to my 3-year-old that people can hate someone so much because of their religion or the way they dress,” Ashour wrote. “This is such a small thing compared to the hatred other Muslims experience on a daily basis. America, do better.”
The Council on American-Islamic Relations Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter (CAIR-DFW) wrote in a press release on June 17 that it has called on to state and federal law enforcement officials to investigate the attack as a hate crime. The organization is urging anyone with information about the incident to call 911.“Hate crimes are on the rise throughout the United States, including here in Dallas,” said CAIR-DFW Interim Executive Director Ekram Haque in a statement. “Earlier this year at the Dallas Reunion Tower, another American Muslim woman was verbally and physically attacked apparently based on her identity as a Muslim woman.”CAIR-DFW’s legal director Dontrey Tatum, who is representing Ashour, said in a statement that American Muslim women face a higher threat of Islamophobia.
“American Muslims, and particularly Muslim woman, face an increased threat from Islamophobes,” Tatum said. “We urge law enforcement authorities to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime.”A spokesperson from Starbucks told The North Star that they have been communicating with Ashour following the incident. The spokesperson said any type of discriminatory behavior is not welcome in their stores and their employees are encouraged to address a situation if a customer’s behavior is unacceptable.
In May, a Black man said he was racially profiled at a Starbucks in Tampa Bay, Florida, for using the bathroom. Lorne Green, 44, previously told WFTS that he entered the coffee shop located on West Brandon Boulevard and used the bathroom before placing an order at the counter.While he was in the bathroom, he told the news station that the employees were banging on the door asking if they should call fire rescue. He told Bay News 9 he was afraid to open the door of the bathroom and called Starbucks corporate.
“I didn’t know what was on the other side of that door,” Green told the news station. “‘Cause no one identified who they were and it felt like a crowd of people and I was thinking, ‘Do you really want to open this door right now?’”His attorney, Jasmine Rand, told the news station this was the employee’s attempt to get him out of the bathroom because of his skin color.“This incessant knocking starts,” Rand told the news station. “It became very clear that asking him if he needed fire rescue was not actually about helping Mr. Lorne. Simply, all my client did was use the bathroom while Black.”
About the Author
Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.